This work of non-fiction starts with giving the reader an insight into the personal life of Nora Ephron, the woman who famously brought us the iconic line “I’ll have what she’s having” from the movie “When Harry Met Sally.” We learn about her early life as a child of writer parents working in Hollywood, her personal relationships and her climb up the corporate ladder of Hollywood to become a director.
Taken from personal interviews conducted by the author herself and much sleuthing (her word) through the many reports written on the actors in magazines or told on television, this is a well-researched book.
At times the book can be a little confusing because the people Carlson was writing about don’t immediately come to mind so there is no metal foundation to place the information on. But when Carlson writes about people who are well known in the public eye, the flow was much easier to follow.
Carlson has managed to find any number of titbits about the actual making of the movies, the actors who had roles and the scenes created but not making the cut which is fascinating. She delves into the atmosphere on set and creates a panorama of the actors and their personalities which is so often hidden behind the perfectly constructed images created by publicity people to make the actors seem more appealing. This book is written openly enough that not everyone comes out smelling of roses. The temper tantrums, ridiculous demands and every facet of peoples ego’s are shown from every aspect.
The genesis of each movie are explored as well as the writing process including. “When Harry Met Sally,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “You’ve Got Mail” three of the most enduring romantic comedies of the 90’s to be directed by Ephron. It shows Ephron’s style of working with other people until the scene was perfect and then she would cling to her vision and demand that it be produced by the movie crew.
All in all this is a absorbing read for anyone of a certain age, fans of the historic trilogy or for the movie buffs who want a closer understanding of the dynamics behind the scenes.